The Alannah & Madeline Foundation congratulates our political leaders for today agreeing to a National Firearms Register that has been 27 years in the making.
At a National Cabinet meeting today, the Prime Minister, Attorney General and all Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to implement the final unfulfilled part of the National Firearms Agreement that was agreed to in 1996 to regulate firearms in Australia.
A National Register will help improve public safety by allowing our law enforcement agencies to have real-time access to information about firearms, their owners and location.
This was promised but never implemented after the 1996 Port Arthur tragedy.
Our Founder, Walter Mikac AM said “Although it has taken nearly 27 years, I am very pleased that the final part of the National Firearms Agreement has been agreed to. Australia is certainly a safer place than in 1996 when it comes to firearm violence.
The bipartisan leadership shown in 1996 is on display again in 2023 when leaders around the country came together in the interests of public safety. Thanks to the Prime Minister and Attorney General for driving this process. And all Premiers and Chief Ministers for getting behind the National Firearms Register.”
The Foundation is a proud founding member of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance. Its convenor Stephen Bendle said, “It has been nearly 27 years since all Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed with the Commonwealth to a minimum set of requirements for the management of firearms in Australia. That decision was welcomed by 90% of the population and today a similar number still support our strong gun laws, or actually want them tighter.
However, there is one key part of the National Firearms Agreement that was a gaping hole in our public safety framework.
It is a great sign that our present day leaders understand the importance of a National Firearms Register and have come together to improve public safety for all Australians.”
Further to this, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said “This represents the most significant improvement in Australia’s firearms management systems in almost 30 years and will keep Australia’s first responders and community safer.”
The National Firearms Agreement was established in the wake of the Port Arthur tragedy in 1996 and was reconfirmed by all jurisdictions in 2017 – despite this, no jurisdiction has been fully compliant.
A key aspect of the National Firearms Agreement is the establishment of the National Firearms Register providing a single source of information across jurisdictions to assist Police to protect themselves and the community from gun violence.
While Australia has some of the strongest firearm laws in the world, the register will address significant gaps and inconsistencies in the way firearms are managed across all jurisdictions.
The register will be a federated model – in which state data connects with a central data hub allowing near real-time information sharing across the country.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said, “The Commonwealth will assist states and territories with funding the reforms, which will provide enduring benefits for decades to come.”
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is proud to be a founding member of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance, and we stand alongside over 30 national organisations that share a commitment to community safety.